Last spring Lauren and I finally wrapped up William’s (kiddo #2) bedroom after a two month stay in the NICU (he and the room are all good, thank you).

Reluctantly, we had to paint over the original grass cloth wallpaper. We simply couldn’t find any other way to cover up a water stain beneath an old window. Thankfully we really liked the idea of saving the texture so stripping the wallpaper wasn’t ever an option.  

After years of amateur, trial and error research I feel I have a handle on painting over stubborn water stains. All the expert opinions point to one of two products. Kilz oil-based primer or Zinsser B-I-N Advanced.

In my experience the best product for a ceiling fix is the Kilz oil-based paint in a spray can. The application is easy and can be isolated to a small area. The drawback to oil-based paint is the strong odor.

<Keep in mind, most textured ceilings are the original unpainted mud coating and you may have to paint the entire surface.  Spot painting will stick out like a sore thumb.>

Zinsser BIN Advanced is a low VOC paint meaning it has nearly no harmful odor which is why we went with this option. Zinsser BIN is a shellac-based product that covered the stain and adhered to the grass cloth texture amazingly well.

Applying two heavy coats of the primer was definitely necessary (as expected with any paint) and I would estimate we used 2.5 to 3 gallons for the 13 x 12 room. The only thing I wish we had done was tint the primer the color of the final coat.

For the final color Lauren, she is always the brave one, picked out something completely out of our comfort zone. Sherwin Williams 6627 Emberglow. The color was just orange enough not to remind of burnt Texas orange which I would have refused (Go Skers).